A crystallite is a small or even microscopic grains et issues PDF which forms, for example, during the cooling of many materials. The orientation of crystallites can be random with no preferred direction, called random texture, or directed, possibly due to growth and processing conditions. Fiber texture is an example of the latter.
Most inorganic solids are polycrystalline, including all common metals, many ceramics, rocks, and ice. Different degrees of ordered structures: a monocrystalline crystal, polycrystalline structure, and amorphous or non-crystalline solid. Crystallite size is usually measured from X-ray diffraction patterns and grain size by other experimental techniques like transmission electron microscopy. Bronze bell with large crystallites on the inside. If the individual crystallites are oriented completely at random, a large enough volume of polycrystalline material will be approximately isotropic. This property helps the simplifying assumptions of continuum mechanics to apply to real-world solids.
Material fractures can be either intergranular or a transgranular fracture. There is an ambiguity with powder grains: a powder grain can be made of several crystallites. Coarse grained rocks are formed very slowly, while fine grained rocks are formed quickly, on geological time scales. If a rock forms very quickly, such as the solidification of lava ejected from a volcano, there may be no crystals at all.
This article appears to contradict the article Grain boundary. Please see discussion on the linked talk page. Grain boundaries are interfaces where crystals of different orientations meet. A grain boundary is a single-phase interface, with crystals on each side of the boundary being identical except in orientation. The term « crystallite boundary » is sometimes, though rarely, used. Treating a grain boundary geometrically as an interface of a single crystal cut into two parts, one of which is rotated, we see that there are five variables required to define a grain boundary.
The first two numbers come from the unit vector that specifies a rotation axis. The third number designates the angle of rotation of the grain. Grain boundaries disrupt the motion of dislocations through a material. Dislocation propagation is impeded because of the stress field of the grain boundary defect region and the lack of slip planes and slip directions and overall alignment across the boundaries.
Grain boundary migration plays an important role in many of the mechanisms of creep. Grain boundary migration occurs when a shear stress acts on the grain boundary plane and causes the grains to slide. This means that fine-grained materials actually have a poor resistance to creep relative to coarser grains, especially at high temperatures, because smaller grains contain more atoms in grain boundary sites. During grain boundary migration, the rate determining step depends on the angle between two adjacent grains. In a small angle dislocation boundary, the migration rate depends on vacancy diffusion between dislocations. In a high angle dislocation boundary, this depends on the atom transport by single atom jumps from the shrinking to the growing grains. Grain boundaries are generally only a few nanometers wide.
In common materials, crystallites are large enough that grain boundaries account for a small fraction of the material. However, very small grain sizes are achievable. Grain boundaries are also present in magnetic domains in magnetic materials. A computer hard disk, for example, is made of a hard ferromagnetic material that contains regions of atoms whose magnetic moments can be realigned by an inductive head.
Because of the dangers of grain boundaries in certain materials such as superalloy turbine blades, great technological leaps were made to minimize as much as possible the effect of grain boundaries in the blades. This is because grain boundaries are amorphous, and serve as nucleation points for the liquid phase. Sulfur Archived October 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. More Than 200 Meters of Lake Ice Above Subglacial Lake Vostok, Antarctica ». Introduction to Magnetism and Magnetic Materials. Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
This article needs additional citations for verification. A grain boundary is the interface between two grains, or crystallites, in a polycrystalline material. This section needs additional citations for verification. It is convenient to categorize grain boundaries according to the extent of misorientation between the two grains. Low-angle grain boundaries or subgrain boundaries are those with a misorientation less than about 15 degrees.